LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
April 11, 2007
By: Mary Winston Nicklin
How can you stay at one of the world's best hotels (i.e., a member of the T+L 500) when you're on a budget? By timing your visit appropriately. Case in point: the Wauwinet, a member of the prestigious Relais & Chateaux group on Nantucket Island off Cape Cod, has rates of $500 a night during the peak summer season.
Book the "Too Good To Be True" rates for a spring stay from May 6-May 31, 2007 (Sunday through Thursday) at The Wauwinet, and enjoy this magical world-class retreat for as little as $195 a night. Take in gorgeous sunsets from the 30 miles of private beach, dine at the fabulous Topper's Restaurant, and soak up the scenic setting of the most exclusive lodgings on Nantucket. Full breakfast is included in the room rate, along with complimentary evening port sherry and cheese.
The Taj Hotel empire is expanding. After the 2005 acquisition of The Pierre, the luxurious New York City landmark, and the recent buy-out of the former Ritz-Carlton on Arlington Street in Boston, Taj has its eye on a West Coast property. Up next? Campton Place, San Francisco's prized luxury boutique hotel with the picture-perfect location off Union Square. Kor Hotel Group is unloading this little gem for some $58 million. Soon, Campton Place will become Taj's third hotel in the United States.
Newly opened in November 2006, Angsana Resort and Spa Velavaru is a seductive paradise of golden beaches, turquoise lagoons, and plush, private villas, situated on an island in the middle of the Indian Ocean, thousands of miles away. Here, guests delight to discover the beauty of the Dhaalu Atoll-- with untouched dive sites, reefs, and islands teeming with tropical life. From island hopping and dolphin watching to snorkeling safaris and night fishing, guests enjoy a wealth of experiences. Here on the southern shores of the Maldives-- the world's hottest destination and islands du jour-- Angsana Velavaru has unveiled a Marine Lab dedicated to marine conservation. The research facility aims to safeguard the biodiversity of the Maldivian reefs and ocean, while sharing with resort guests the importance of marine conservation. Guests are encouraged to participate in projects and the complimentary marine biology classes which are taught twice a week. Guided snorkeling safaris are conducted twice a week. The Marine Lab also focuses on protecting sea turtles, as Angsana Velavaru is a known turtle nesting site.
Stay three nights and get the fourth for free at one of the world's best hotels. Situated on the edge of the historic French Quarter, Windsor Court, an Orient-Express Hotel, has certainly racked up the awards. Designed to replicate the interior of an English mansion, the opulent hotel features antiques from the 17th and 18th centuries and an impressive $8 million art collection. Dine at the New Orleans Grill (ranked as one of Zagat's top ten restaurants), unwind at the rooftop pool, or relax in the spa. Savor the best of the Big Easy with a complimentary extra night when you book a room on the new Club Floor at Windsor Court. The four top floors of the hotel are dedicated Club Floors, the pinnacle of luxury in this posh place-- with private keycard security access, the finest views of the city and Mississippi River, personal butler service, and exclusive access the swanky new Club Lounge. The Stay Another Day Offer is available from May through September 2007, starting from $289 a night in the Club Guest Rooms (Full Suites are priced from $329-$575 per night).
April 9, 2007
By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard
Two South African Icons - the Blue Train and Twelve Apostles Hotel- have come together to create the perfect opportunity for those seeking an indulgent romantic escape. Board the luxurious Blue Train in Pretoria and travel through some of South Africa's most awesome landscapes while being pampered with exceptional personal service. Upon arrival in Cape Town, the Twelve Apostles Hotel will collect guests from the station and transfer them directly to their award winning destination. A Classic or Mountain Facing room awaits - stylishly decorated in contemporary furniture and fabrics. Spend time at the hotel's renowned Sanctuary Spa and indulge in a 60-minute head, neck and shoulder massage included in the package and enjoy the complimentary use of the relaxing hydrotherapy pools.
Packages are availble during the 2007 South African winter and the routes available are Pretoria to Cape Town or Cape Town to Pretoria. Call Twelve Apostles at +27 (0) 21 437 9000 to reserve your dram package.
Savvy travelers are thrilled to discover the Mexican version of Relais & Châteaux. Mexico Boutique Hotels is a collection of almost 50 intimate, privately owned luxury hotels in idyllic settings across Mexico: from colonial hill towns to the Caribbean islands near the Maya Riviera. Some are renovated haciendas, some are charming inns, some are chic design hotels, but one thing unites them: these alluring properties are outstanding--the best Mexico has to offer-- and boast highly personalized service. Celebrate Cinco de Mayo south of the border and take advantage of an excellent promotional offer from Mexico Boutique Hotels. Stay four nights and get the fifth night for free during the month of May. Rates vary per property.
Introducing the beautiful new restaurant located at Santa Monica's beachfront Grande Dame, the storied Casa Del Mar Hotel. Billed as "an inspired seaside experience," Catch promises fresh, inventive cuisine in a gorgeous setting. Executive Chef Michael Reardon has devised a tantalizing menu of Land and Sea offerings like Kurobuto Pork Loin, Crispy Skate Wing, and of course signature sushi and crudo dishes. At the center of the lively scene at Catch is the mother of pearl sushi bar. Delight your palette while soaking in the sweeping views of sandy Pacific beaches and colorful sunsets. Hours: Lunch 11:30 a.m.- 3 p.m. Dinner: 6 p.m.- 10 p.m.
PS. Check out their fantastic Easter menu for the weekend. The $70 prix fixe menu offers appetizers like the sashimi platter, entrées like Duo of Colorado Lamb and Dungeness Crab Cakes "Benedict," and desserts like Strawberry Soup and Warm Valhrona Chocolate Cake.
Here's a challenge to test your luxury travel savvy. Do you know this hotel? Take a guess, leave us a comment letting us know which hotel you think this photo belongs to, and check back next week for the answer and new image.
Hint: Sea-view Hotel & Spa, A Dozen Followers, In One of 3 Captial Cities...
And Last Week's answer, which was guessed correctly this time around by selma weisbein, is ...
Scheduled to launch at the end of April, The Stafford Mews (part of The Stafford) will offer a choice of 26 luxury junior and master suites plus The Penthouse Suite - a rooftop apartment with private outdoor terrace overlooking the London skyline. The Penthouse Suite will be located on the 6th floor, and cover over 100 sq metres (1076 square feet). The decor of the new 26 suites will try to create the home-from-home appeal that The Stafford is renowned for. In addition to the new rooms, The Stafford Mews will also offer a Fitness Suite with the latest Cybex cardiovascular equipment and multi-gym system, which will be available for all Stafford guests to use. Rates and availability for rooms in the Mews can be found for May 2007 dates here >>
(The image is an artist's rendering of a Junior Suite.)
The Greenbrier is back, and better than ever. The world-renowned resort has re-opened its doors after a $50 million renovation. How could this legendary spot-- the pinnacle of elegance in the Allegheny mountains-- get any more luxurious? Here's what's in store for lucky guests: 63 updated guest rooms with spa-like bathrooms and updated décor, sumptuous new bedding and linens for all guest rooms, and lots of new technology: large plasma-screen TV's , new electronic locks, improved cell phone and Internet service. Coming in summer 2007: an entirely new culinary experience with the opening of Hemisphere restaurant and 38°80, a unique cocktail lounge. The Greenbrier has long been a favorite hideaway for politicians and celebrities; the resort has a distinguished history (this is site of the famous Bunker, the former U.S. Government Relocation Facility where Congress was to be housed in the event of a nuclear attack in the '50s). The historic resort offers over 50 recreational activities to its guests, including indoor and outdoor tennis, golf on three championship courses, rock climbing, 40,000 square foot spa, and even the ancient sport of falconry.